I just restepped my mast
after replacing all the standing rigging
. I used a simple Davis rigging
tuner to adjust the tension of the wire. Even as a cruising sailor the performance and longevity of the rig were far to important to me to rely on "Old salts" giving me opinions or attempting to tune a rig by the feel of the wire in my hand. The instructions included with the tool speak to some important points:
A.) The number one reason for premature wearing out or rig failure is improperly tensioned wire, ie way to loose. This creates cyclic loading of the wire, fittings, attachment points and mast
, (Not good). Leeward side shrouds should not be slack when sailing.
B.) A properly tuned rig contributes to sailing performance, especially to windward, loose headstays deminish performance.
C.) The baseline tension as reccommended is 1500lbs tension for the headstay and 1000lbs for the rest of the rigging.
I had performed the initial tuning by hand and feel and eye and had basicly set the reccommended rake and centering of the mast this way. When I put the tuner on the wire, boy was I suprised, I was not even close to the suggested baseline settings of the instructions, way loose. Once I got the hang of this simple tuning tool it was a real snap and pleasure to get the wire set up
correctly, with the result that the boat is sailing beautifully and more importantly safely.
Top notch racer's employ professional rig tuners utilizing very expensive tools to optimize their boats ability. The little Davis tool cost about $100.00, a small price
to pay considering all the mony I have "sunk" into the boat. THe final tune of the rig only took about an hour the first time. I will periodiclly put the gauge on the wire and retune the rig to assure all is well.